Louisiana had the highest gun-related deaths per capita in the nation in 2011, a new study shows.
The study was conducted by the Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit group working to deter gun violence.
It analyzes data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that say guns killed 865 Louisiana residents in 2011. That translates into 18.91 gun-related deaths for every 100,000 people in the state.
Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming and Montana round out the top five states with the highest gun-related death rates.
According to the group, Louisiana's ranking is because of weak gun-ownership laws and a high rate of per-capita gun ownership. An estimated 45.6 percent of the state's residents own guns.
“Gun violence is preventable, and states can pass effective laws that will dramatically reduce gun death and injury,” Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann said. “Our analysis shows that states with weak gun violence prevention laws and easy access to guns pay a severe price with gun death rates far above the national average.”